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BlackBerry Sells its Canadian Properties

March 21, 2014
Struggling smartphone is selling of its three million square feet of Canadian real estate to free up funds for a rebound.

OTTAWA - Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry said Friday it is selling most of its Canadian real estate holdings, and will lease back some space after the sale.

A buyer was not identified, but the Waterloo, Canada-based company said the deal includes three million square feet of space, as well as vacant land.

A company statement said BlackBerry (IW 1000/412) will "lease back a portion of the space," in the transaction, which is set to close in the coming months.

BlackBerry helped create a culture of mobile users glued to smartphones, but lost its luster as many moved to iPhones or devices using Google's Android software.

It still has some 70 million subscribers worldwide, but most are using older handsets, and newer devices on the BlackBerry 10 platform unveiled a year ago failing to gain traction.

Blackberry shares started to rebound late last year despite record losses, after it announced plans to outsource its handset production to Taiwan-based Foxconn.

Analysts said that move could help BlackBerry concentrate on software and services, avoiding many pitfalls of the volatile smartphone business.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

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